Skip to main content

Minor in Inequality Studies

*Pursue the minor that makes a major difference*

Inequality lies at the heart of current debates about opportunity and equity, implicating numerous contemporary policy issues. Public and scholarly interest in inequality has intensified, not merely because of historic increases in income and wealth inequality in the United States and other advanced industrial countries, but also because inequalities of race, ethnicity, gender, and social class are evolving in dramatic and complicated ways. Cornell University is a leading center of scholarship on inequality, drawing strength from its many departments and colleges. The institutional home for the minor is the Center for the Study of Inequality.

The Minor in Inequality Studies exposes students to inequality through a breadth of approaches, methods, and topics while allowing them to tailor the program to their particular interests. The Minor in Inequality Studies is appropriate for students interested in public and private sectors, policy, and civil society, as well as for those who wish to pursue graduate and professional degrees in various fields. See profiles of alumni for representative career paths and Learn about how the Minor in Inequality Studies makes a Major difference.

An interdisciplinary minor, Inequality Studies is open to students in all Cornell undergraduate colleges and can be completed in conjunction with almost any major.

Six courses are required to complete the minor:

» Controversies About Inequality
(SOC/ DSOC/ PAM/ ILROB 2220, PHIL 1950, and AMST/GOVT 2225)
This course introduces students to contemporary debates and controversies about inequality. Learn how and why inequality varies across time and space, and learn to identify how inequality is generated and maintained. Offered every fall semester.

» ONE of the following overview courses:

º Social Inequality (SOC/PAM 2208 and DSOC 2090)
º Comparative Social Inequalities (DSOC 3700 and SOC 3710)
º Race and Public Policy (PAM 3370 and SOC 3370)
º Families and Social Inequality (PAM 4470 and SOC 4470)
º Economic Analysis of the Welfare State (ILRLE 4426 and ECON 3450)
º Managing Diversity: Policies and Practices (ILROB 6260)

» An additional FOUR electives complete the requirements for the minor.
Electives are available from over thirty academic departments. See Inequality Courses for eligible electives. All courses toward the minor must be taken for a letter grade. The electives and overview course must be distributed across at least three departments and students must earn a grade C or higher in all minor courses. Completion of the minor will be recorded on the student’s academic record. For questions about course requirements, please contact the Center for the Study of Inequality.

The Center for the Study of Inequality hosts occasional lectures and symposia, and minors are expected to attend them when possible. These events will be announced via email and are also listed on the events calendar.


Donate to CSI